The organization and planning of a sports tournament is not a one person task, but does require a dedicated leader who takes responsibility of making important, final decisions. There are many jobs to be done. Obviously, the best approach is an organizing committee consisting of a dozen persons, each an expert in a specific area. Realistically, that’s not likely to happen in many volunteer-driven sports organizations, but an efficient organizing committee will have hard-working volunteers who can take direction and get their tasks done well, regardless of their experience in that particular area.

Hopefully, the leader will have enough event experience to provide guidance in all areas. When divided into separate areas of Administrative, Venue and Competition, the numerous jobs associated with an event can be better defined, and there will certainly be overlap in some of these tasks.

The areas of responsibility outlined here are actually derived from the organization of an Olympic Games event, so you get to eliminate many that do not apply to your specific needs. You should start with the jobs that are absolutely necessary to the conduct of your event, such as Finance, Marketing/Ticket Sales, Registration, Logistics, Medical, Concessions and Competition. While there are others that are very important, these really determine the overall success of your event, especially the financial success.

Administrative Jobs

  • Accommodations
  • Accreditation
  • Exec-After-Action Summary
  • Ceremonies
  • Clinic
  • Communications
  • Entertainmentplanning a sports tournament
  • Finance
  • Food Services
  • Human Resources
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Media & Public Relations
  • Participant Services
  • Program, Souvenir
  • Protocol
  • Language Services
  • Government
  • Relations
  • Host Family
  • Social Events
  • Special Events
  • Ticket Sales, Advance
  • Transportation
  • Volunteer Services


Venue Management

  • Access Control/Parking/Ushers
  • Crowd Control
  • Awards Ceremonies
  • Concessions
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Logistics
  • Look & Atmosphere
  • Media Services
  • Medical, Participant
  • Medical, Spectator
  • Merchandise
  • Practice Site
  • Public Information/Lost & Found
  • Registration
  • Security
  • Signage
  • Results & Technology
  • Ticket Operations
  • Venue Management
  • Venue Operations
  • Venue Set-up
  • Venue Janitorial

Competition Day Checklist

  • Competition Management
  • Field of Play
  • Game Promotions
  • Jury Area
  • Officials
  • Public Address
  • Ready Area
  • Scoring
  • Scoreboard
  • Team Operations
  • Timekeeping
  • Warm-up Area

For more helpful tips on planning a sports tournament, download our free A-Z Guide to planning a sports tournament.
By Bill Hanson